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As coronavirus drives climate protests off streets, activists go online

(Reuters, 20 Mar 2020) With mass street gatherings now unsafe, activists for action on global warming are turning to helping neighbours and campaigning online

As Extinction Rebellion climate activists began preparing for a fresh year of protests in 2020, their chief concerns ranged from potential new police and legal restrictions on street protests, to how to boost their own numbers, diversity and effectiveness.

Now they have an entirely new worry: a global coronavirus outbreak.

With lockdowns on public gatherings taking hold around the world, the group's best-known tactic - staging mass street protests to focus public attention on climate change threats - is no longer wise or possible for now, activists say.

Instead, Extinction Rebellion (XR) - like the student climate strike movement spearheaded by Swedish teen Greta Thunberg - is looking for new ways to make a mark, from taking its campaigns online to using its networks to battle the virus.

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Reuters, 20 Mar 2020: As coronavirus drives climate protests off streets, activists go online